Fashion Over Reason

Sunday, July 24, 2016

One and Done

heleneisfor in mohonk, jcrew maxi dress, longchamp bucket bag

We're in the middle of a major heat wave and I'm looooooving it. Sure, it can get uncomfortable, but I'll take this over a polar vortex any day. The way I look at it is that during the winter, I often find myself thinking I'd rather be living through a scorcher than be standing on the cold street corner... In the summer, however, I NEVER have the reverse thought. Like, ever. While sweating and feeling uncomfortably warm and wanting to complain about it, I simply remind myself that I'd rather the sweat than the frigidity.

That said, one of my favorite things to wear when the weather is oven-like is a simple summer dress. Maxi, mini, flowy, light... it's the easiest way to look put together, it's one of the lightest things you can put on your body, and it's a no-brainer cause it's basically a one and done. One item of clothing to pick out and you're ready to be out the door.

How do you survive a heat wave?

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Details:
J.Crew dress
Sol Sana sandals
Ray-Ban sunglasses
Longchamp bag

Click to shop:



Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Properly Pack a Suitcase


Tumi Alpha 2, how to pack a suitcase like a pro, Heleneisfor at the London Ritz

I've just returned from a 2 week-long journey in Europe (were you following along?!?), and as someone who travels fairly often, I thought I'd chat about how to properly pack a suitcase.

Full disclaimer: I am by NO MEANS an expert packer. In fact, the mere thought of having to throw things carefully think about what I might feel like wearing at a later date during my travels gives me a legit anxiety attack. So much so that I had to have my buddy Yael send me her super-duper organized packing list (she's an angel from heaven) when I was in full meltdown mode.

Packing is literally the worst part about traveling, amiright?

Surely I am not alone when it comes to this struggle?

The thing is, because I have slight type A tendencies, if I don't have some form of plan, I panic even more. This is how it usually goes down: the prospect of packing sounds all kinds of alarm bells, episodes of dread-fueled procrastination ensue and lead to flustered pacing, after which I finally spring into bag-loading action. And I don't mean piling in random clothing in there - each outfit is planned and all the pieces are chosen carefully to make sure I don't overpack and to minimize all sartorial decisions once I've reached my final destination. This is the only real way to reduce nerve trepidations in both the present and the future, trust.

Even though I'm on the road rather frequently, I've never quite gotten used to this unavoidable task. That said, I've also picked up some quality tips and tricks that I'm here to pass along to you, dear readers, to appease your days of luggage-packing hell, if only a little bit.

______

Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase like a pro


1. Get the Right Bag
Your journey doesn't start when you get on the plane. It begins right in your bedroom the moment you decide what bag you're taking. A good suitcase makes all the difference and I had to learn that the hard way. Not only are they better configured, but they are also solid as hell and won't bust on you at an inopportune moment. Again, learned that the hard way.

When you're traveling, you want reliability in your luggage, not precariousness. Whether you're doing a weekender, a carry-on size or a large mother load, investing in a good bag is the first step towards achieving packing success. Plus, you want to look chic, amiright?!

My bag of choice? The Tumi Alpha 2. I like that it's sleek, flexible, robust and has the most efficient interior configuration.

Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase

2. Check the Weather at Your Destination!
This is soooo crucial. While a lot of times, the weatherman gets it wrong, it still gives you a good idea of the climate you're in for once you get off that plane. You can't start packing until you know what kind of temperatures you're in for. Don't do this blindly, it's called weather.com, use it.

3. Lay It All Out
Think of ensembles beforehand, then lay all of those clothes out and proceed to do an edit - pack only what can be mixed and matched. Same goes with shoes. Don't bring pairs of shoes that are too similar to one another or that serve the same function - you want to maximize everything.

Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase

4. Lay Clothes In FLAT
No folding, no rolling. Just everything laid down flat in layers. This is literally the most space-efficient technique I've come across that actually prevents wrinkling, unlike the urban legend that is the rolling method, pff. Trust me on this one guys, it's going to revolutionize your voyages.

Special tip: for crease-prone garments, like silk or linen pieces, save those plastic wraps that you get with your dry cleaning and layer them over and under those items inside your suitcase. There will be nary a wrinkle in them even after spending all that time in a confined space.

Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcaseTumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcaseTumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase

5. Use Every Inch
Start by putting your socks and underwear at the bottom of your suitcase between the ridges. It's dead space for garments and the small stuff will fit perfectly in there without wasting precious real estate. You can also stuff your socks inside your shoes for a double whammy: this will save space and keep the shape of your footwear intact during travel. Around the sides, add extra toiletries or small items where you find crevasses.

6. Optimize the Top
I hate to brag, but my big suitcase is super space-efficient: it has a flap for the top of the bag to house extra stuff without having it impede on the bulk of the main area. It's ideal for shoes and toiletries. If your bag doesn't have this magical space (#sorrynotsorry), still save the top for those items, as you can tetris your shoes and wedge your toiletries securely in-between them. Just make sure that every product with leaking potential is wrapped in an additional plastic bag, or cushioned securely between other things.
Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase

As a final tip, it's always good to make a checklist with all the gritty details that can slip your mind before a big journey. Jot down the super important things like passport, chargers, sunglasses, etc, as well as the smaller menial yet necessary things, like take out the garbage, check lights, close windows, etc.

Can't beat that feeling of assembled luggage perfection. Which I can always count on with my medium expandable Tumi Alpha 2 suitcase.
Tumi Alpha 2 Medium expandle suitcase - How to pack a suitcase


Feeling real good about my manic packing planning!
Tumi Alpha 2, how to pack a suitcase like a pro, Heleneisfor in Iceland, my stopover

Would love to hear your packing tips if you have any... you can never have too many packing tips. And do let me know if you found this helpful!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

Zady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bag

It's amazing what a quick garment swap can do for your fancy cred. Case in point: I've worn this exact ensemble many a times, but with old 501s instead of this schmancy skirt.

If you're running out the door and don't have much time to think about what you're going to wear, but still need to look presentable, I'd highly recommend using this trick. This way you can use your brain for something else but still look like you put a little effort into your physical display.

The cherry atop this faux fancy sundae? A pretty french braid, obvi.

Zady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bagZady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bagZady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bagZady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bagZady Japanese gatehred blouse, Ray-Ban lennon round sunglasses, Balenciaga skirt, Chloé boots, Céline edge bag
Details:
Zady top
Balenciaga skirt
Chloé boots
Céline bag
Ray-Ban sunglasses

Click to shop:


Monday, June 20, 2016

So Much Chill

J.Crew linen shirt, ASOS crop flare, Sol Sana sandals, Kaufmann Mercantile basket

Ok, friends. This is my last Martha's Vineyard post. After this one, we can finally move on with our lives (sniff!).

Picture this setting: it was a perfect day on the island - as if there were unperfect ones, pff! - the sun was shining bright and warm, the birds were chirping, the humans were smiling and we had not one care in the world.

The only logical next step? Dress like how I was feeling: happy, casual, chill, and chic, duh.

Don't forget to check out my guide if you haven't already!


J.Crew linen shirt, ASOS crop flare, Sol Sana sandals, Kaufmann Mercantile basket, Ray-Ban Lennon sunglassesJ.Crew linen shirt, ASOS crop flare, Sol Sana sandals, Kaufmann Mercantile basket, Ray-Ban Lennon sunglassesJ.Crew linen shirt, ASOS crop flare, Sol Sana sandals, Kaufmann Mercantile basket, Ray-Ban Lennon sunglassesJ.Crew linen shirt, ASOS crop flare, Sol Sana sandals, Kaufmann Mercantile basket, Ray-Ban Lennon sunglasses>
Details:
J.Crew linen shirt
Monki jeans
Sol Sana sandals
Ray-Ban sunglasses
Dorfman Pacific hat
Kaufmann Mercantile basket

Get my look:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Menemsha Beach Sunsets Are Magic


Menemsha Beach sunset, Aztec round towel, Shop We Are Summer

Still going with the Martha's Vineyard memories. As mentioned in my guide, we tried to catch as many sunsets as we could, that time being one of them and this time being another. I mean, can you really blame us though?

Look at this beauty. Counting down the days until I can go back.

Menemsha Beach sunset, Martha's Vineyard, Frame Denim overallsMenemsha Beach, Aztec round towel, Shop We Are Summer, Kaufmann Mercantile handmade basketMenemsha Beach sunset, Martha's VineyardMenemsha Beach sunset, Aztec round towel, Shop We Are Summer
My outfit:
Frame Denim overalls
Zady shirt


Monday, June 13, 2016

Double the Jacket, Double the Fun

Menemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, Levi's men's trucker jacket

Doubling down on the denim jackets. I'm guilty of having done this in the past and I'm still up to my old ways. That's kind of what you need to do when you're enjoying the coastal life in early May - things can still get pretty chilly.

Remember when I mentioned Menemsha Beach in my Martha's Vineyard guide? This is it! Not too shabs, right?!

Menemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, Levi's men's trucker jacket, Free People bootsMenemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, Levi's men's trucker jacket, Free People bootsMenemsha Beach, Martha's Vineyard, Levi's men's trucker jacket, Free People boots
Details:
Levi's men's trucker jacket
White J Brand denim jacket
Trash & Vaudeville pants
Free People boots

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Gay Head Lighthouse

Gay Head Lighthouse, Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard, New England coast

If you read my previous post outlining my favorite things I did during my Martha's Vineyard trip, you'll probably remember that I mentioned the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah.

This is what you see when you reach the top of the cliffs, as though a postcard has come to life. It truly is spectacular. Just don't wear a hat cause it's windy AF.

Gay Head Lighthouse, Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard, New England coast, Madewell perfect summer jean, Levi's denim jacket
Levi's men's denim jacket
Madewell jeans
Chloé boots

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

An Amateur's Guide to Martha's Vineyard

Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown

You might recall that it was my birthday last month? The hubs and I figured it was the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway. We chose to head to Martha's Vineyard for a few reasons: we wanted to do something relaxing but different from what we normally do. We also wanted somewhere that was close enough to drive to and since we'd only be there for a long weekend, it had to be worth it. I also have a not-so-secret obsession with New England and have had Martha's Vineyard on my bucket list for years.

It was our time.

Needless to say, we had a total and complete blast. Hopefully you were following the adventures on Instagram? To complete the journey, I decided I'd compile a list of things we really enjoyed doing on the Island, should you be thinking of heading over there on vacation and need to be pointed in the right direction.

Without further ado, here is my mini amateur guide to Martha's Vineyard. (Amateur because this was my first time there and it wasn't even peak season, which means that a few things were still closed, which makes me by no means an expert on the place and I'm certain that I'll be leaving out a ton of amazing things that I didn't get to do.)

Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, EdgartownMartha's Vineyard, Edgartown, New England, J Brand Jeans Houlihan, Soludos espadrilles

Where to Stay

I'm going to repeat what people recommended to me and say that you should most definitely stay in Edgartown. It truly epitomizes coastal New England charm. The architecture is what dreams are made of, the shopping is plentiful, the seafood is stunning and the activities are boundless.

We had the pleasure of staying at the Hob Knob Inn on Main street and I can't recommend it enough. We wanted something private that felt luxurious yet unpretentious. That's exactly what the Hob Knob is. The place is absolutely beautiful, their attention to detail was beyond, as was the level of service and friendliness of the staff. I wouldn't stay anywhere else if I went when I go back.


Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown, New EnglandHob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, EdgartownHob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown, Happy Socks, Eberjey robe

What to Do

There really is no lack of things to do on the Island. Even though we were there a couple of weekends before the regular season started and not all businesses had opened yet, we were far from bored. Even if that meant chilling out on the Hob Knob's sprawling patio with a good book. As luck would have it, the Martha's Vineyard Wine Festival was happening while we were there and we spent an afternoon sampling delicious local fare and more importantly: really, really good wine. Tee hee.

Here were some super fun things we did that I would highly recommend:

- Bike rentals. Head to Wheel Happy in town and rent bikes for the day to explore around. Take the very short ferry ride over to Chappy Island to bike around uninterrupted by traffic. It's super pretty and so remote, you'll almost feel like you're in an episode of Lost. For real tho.

- Menemsha sunsets. Holy shit, I meannnn. We did this as many times as we could: drive over to the beach in Menemsha as the sun is going down, grab some rosé or champagne, and watch as the sun disappear into the water while parked cozily on a blanket. On of the best parts? The smell of the sea and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

- Gay Head Cliffs. Talk about an insane view. Getting up there is truly special, like you're stepping directly into a postcard. Warning: the wind can be quite intense - don't wear a hat!

Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, EdgartownHob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown, Kaufman Mercantile bag, We Are Summer round beach towel


- Aquinnah. This up-island area is as remote as it is charming.

- Orange Peel Bakery. This place is a real trip and totally worth popping into. Be very attentive as you're driving past because it's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it spot on a sparse road. They make everything from scratch in their crazy brick wood fire oven that sits outside the tiny cabin where the bounty is sold. Speaking of sold, you basically walk in, put the money for what you take in a jar, and go on your merry way. Honor system (we don't see much of that in Brooklyn)! We had a nice chat with one of the owners, who told us all about their mantra. It's incredibly refreshing to meet great people who care about good things. Anyway, we left with the most amazing bread and yummy granola.

- Back door donuts. This place in the town of Oak Bluffs serves freshly baked donuts outside of a bakery's back door after midnight. Hot. Donuts. OMG. Get the apple fritter, that's their specialty. It'll blow your doors off. Pun inteded.

- Alley's General Store. This place is such a trip. You either feel like you've entered a time machine or a movie set. Or maybe a little bit of both. Knick knack fans, this one's for you.

- Get some fudge at Murdick's Fudge. So much variety you'll have a hard time choosing. Allow me to help you: the butter praline is the way to go.


Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, EdgartownHob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown

Where to Eat

- Menemsha Fish Market. It's literally a shack and it's right on the beach. Get the lobster roll/soup special combo. Probably the most delicious clam chowder I've ever had in my life, no exaggeration. Eat it at their tiny counter or grab it to go and enjoy right on the beach. Bliss.

- Atria. This restaurant is right across the street from the Hob Knob and it was the bomb dot com. The regular restaurant on the main floor is a little bit more upscale and has a fine dining vibe, so request to be specifically seated in their basement, which they call the Brick Cellar Bar. You'll feel like you happened upon a perfectly art-directed, cozy old English manor. They have the most incredible selection of burgers, which is only offered downstairs (as if you needed another reason to not go with the fancy dining room). I highly recommend the Rip Off - that's the name of the burger - think Big Mac but made with quality ingredients. It's ridiculously off the hook. The service was also fantastic. Not only did they greet us at our table with bubbly (thank you to the best hubby in the world who mentioned my birthday when making the reservation), but our waiter was attentive and awesome in a cool friendly and super authentic way, as opposed to annoyingly formal.

- Wharf Pub. This completely unassuming bar totally surprised us in the best way possible. We were looking to get a lobster roll at the Seafood Shanty by the water in Edgartown but it hadn't yet opened for the season. We weren't in the mood for anything fancy for lunch, and we love a good chill pub, so we decided to grab two seats at the bar for a seafood feast that was pretty exceptional in both taste and simplicity. I still salivate over the fish and chips, clam chowder and cod cakes we had. I'd recommend the bar section as opposed to the dining room, but it's a matter of preference. Worth adding that service was so incredibly friendly and seamless. You can tell that this place is a riot at night.

Hob Knob Luxury Boutique Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, EdgartownMartha's Vineyard, Edgartown, New England, J Brand Jeans Houlihan, Soludos espadrilles

- Offshore Ale. Great bar with great food in Oak Bluffs. We had the lobster roll (duh). It was excellent and chock full of lobster meat, as well as accompanied by deliciously seasoned crispy homemade chips. Their portions are absolutely insane - saw other dishes go by and they were just as ginormous as our lobster rolls, if not more - so it'll be difficult to stop yourself from eating the entire thing. The place has kind of a barn atmosphere thanks to peanut shells discarded all over the floors from the baskets they hand every table upon arrival, and is super lively at night.

- Alchemy. This is more of a casual fine dining spot. Really delicious food.

- L'Étoile. Fine dining French restaurant. Really delicious but fancy AF, so know what you're getting yourself into! Definitely more of a special occasion kind of place.

Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, New EnglandMartha's Vineyard Wine Festival, Edgartown New EnglandMartha's Vineyard, Edgartown, New England, J Brand Jeans Houlihan, Soludos espadrilles


There were other spots that we were really keen on trying, but unfortunately had yet to open for the season, such as the Outermost and the Seafood Shanty where we couldn't have the lobster rolls, which are both apparently lovely. Have you been to Martha's Vineyard before? Did I miss anything? Do you feel my list? Let me know in the comments!